Prison Guard Charles D. Powell

Prison Guard Charles D. Powell

Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma

End of Watch Wednesday, May 13, 1936

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Charles D. Powell

Guard Charles Powell was shot and killed after he and three other guards were taken hostage during a mass escape attempt involving about 24 inmates at the Oklahoma State Prison. As the inmates loaded the hostages into a truck other guards opened fire. In the exchange of gunfire Guard Powell was shot and killed and two other guards were wounded.

The leader of the inmates was convicted of Guard Powell's murder and sentenced to life in prison. On August 10, 1941, he was shot and killed during an escape attempt at the same prison in which Warden Jess Dunn and Deputy Sheriff William A. Ford of the Pittsburg County Sheriffs Department were shot and killed.

One of the other prisoners who participated in the 1936 escape attempt had been convicted of murdering Constable William Wilmoth and Deputy Emery Whitten, both of the McCurtain County Sheriff's Department, on August 8, 1934. He was paroled in 1958.

Guard Powell had been with the agency for five years and was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed in 1941

escape attempt, prison riot

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 8, 2020

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